aside Where Is President’s Red Line When Syrian Military Used Chemical Weapons On Civilians?

 

Displaced Syrian residents wait to receive food aid distributed by the UN Relief and Works Agency at the besieged al-Yarmouk camp, south of Damascus, Syria, on January 31, 2014. According to the UN Envoy for Syria, an estimated 400,000 Syrians have been killed since an uprising in March 2011 spiraled into civil war. See how the conflict has unfolded.

The usage of chemical weapons on innocents by Syrian military is what happens when the republican President Donald Trump announces future plans to completely withdraw US military from Syria in the near future. Russia can now operate with impunity in the region while backing Syria’s brutal leader, Bashar Al Assad.

Where is the US president’s red line?

Smoke billows in the town of Douma, the last opposition holdout in Syria's Eastern Ghouta, on April 7, 2018, after Syrian regime troops resumed a military blitz to pressure rebels to withdraw (AFP PHOTO / STRINGER)
Smoke billows in the town of Douma, the last opposition holdout in Syria’s Eastern Ghouta, on April 7, 2018, after Syrian regime troops resumed a military blitz to pressure rebels to withdraw (AFP PHOTO / STRINGER)

Here’s the rest of the story…

On April 8, 2018, Ben Hubbard of the New York Times penned the following report, “Dozens Suffocate in Syria as Government Is Accused of Chemical Attack”

Excerpts:

“Dozens of Syrians choked to death after a suspected chemical attack struck the rebel-held suburb of Douma, sending a stream of patients with burning eyes and breathing problems to medical clinics, aid groups said on Sunday.”

“Medical and rescue groups blamed President Bashar al-Assad’s government for the assault on the suburb, east of the capital, Damascus, which took place after dusk on Saturday.”

“Foreign governments expressed alarm at the reports of an attack, and the British Foreign Office called for an urgent investigation, saying that if the use of chemical weapons proved to be true, “it is further proof of Assad’s brutality.”

A child receives medical treatment after a village was attacked in the rebel-held Eastern Ghouta region on February 25, 2018. Several people were treated for exposure to chlorine gas, opposition groups said, as airstrikes and artillery fire from the regime continued. CNN was unable to independently verify claims that chlorine was used as a weapon.

“Rescue workers reported finding at least 42 people dead in their homes from apparent suffocation, and anti-government activists circulated videos of lifeless men, women and children sprawled on floors.”State news media in Syria denied that government forces had used chemical weapons and accused the rebel group that controls Douma, the Army of Islam, of fabricating the videos to solicit international support as defeat loomed.”

“The Russian Defense Ministry also denied that chemical weapons had been used.”

“It was not possible to independently verify the reports because Douma is surrounded by the Syrian government, which prevents access by journalists, aid workers and investigators.”

“A new, confirmed chemical attack in Syria would pose a dilemma for President Trump, who ordered military strikes on a Syrian air base after the chemical attack last year but has more recently said he wants to get the United States out of Syria.”

Anti-government protesters demonstrate in Daraa on March 23, 2011. In response to continuing protests, the Syrian government announced several plans to appease citizens.

“The attack occurred near the end of a monthslong push by the Syrian government to retake a group of towns east of Damascus known as Eastern Ghouta. The towns have been held by rebels seeking to topple Mr. Assad since the early years of the Syrian civil war, and the rebels have often shelled Damascus, killing civilians.”

“The Syrian government and its allies, the Russian military and militias backed by Iran, have surrounded and bombarded the area, killing more than 1,600 people and forcing tens of thousands to flee, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which monitors the conflict from Britain through contacts in Syria.”

Image

Victims of the attack in a building in Douma.CreditSyrian Civil Defense White Helmets, via Associated Press
“Douma is the last remaining town still controlled by rebels in the area, and the Syrian government has vowed to retake it. Many of the remaining residents have sought safety in basements, which could have made them more vulnerable to poisonous gases.”

“In a joint statement, the Syrian American Medical Society, which supports clinics in opposition areas of Syria, and the Syrian Civil Defense, the so-called White Helmets who rescue people in the wake of airstrikes, said the chemical attack occurred after a day of heavy bombardment by the Syrian military and its allies.”

Supporters of al-Assad celebrate during a referendum vote in Damascus on February 26, 2012. Opposition activists reported at least 55 deaths across the country as Syrians headed to the polls. Analysts and protesters widely described the constitutional referendum as a farce. "Essentially, what (al-Assad's) done here is put a piece of paper that he controls to a vote that he controls so that he can try and maintain control," a US State Department spokeswoman said.
PRESIDENT BASHAR AL-ASSAD

“After the assault, more than 500 people went to medical centers “with symptoms indicative of exposure to a chemical agent,” the statement said, including trouble breathing, foaming at the mouth, burning eyes and the “emission of a chlorine-like odor.”

“One person was dead on arrival at a clinic, six others died after they got there, and rescue workers reported finding more than 42 dead in their homes, the statement said. The people could not be evacuated because of strong odors and a lack of equipment.”

“The reported symptoms indicate that the victims suffocated from the exposure to toxic chemicals,” the statement said.”

Pro-Syrian government forces advancing toward Douma CreditAgence France-Presse — Getty Images
“The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which did not confirm the use of chemical agents, said that 42 people, including women and children, had been killed, including 11 who suffocated in the basements of buildings that had collapsed on them. About 500 others were wounded in the bombardment and 70 had breathing troubles, the group said.”

“The United States government said it was working to verify whether chemical weapons had been used.”

“The Assad regime and its backers must be held accountable, and any further attacks prevented immediately,” a State Department spokeswoman, Heather Nauert, said in a statement. Ms. Nauert noted a sarin gas attack in April 2017 in northwestern Syria that the United States and the United Nations blamed on the Syrian government.”

“The United States calls on Russia to end this unmitigated support immediately and work with the international community to prevent further, barbaric chemical weapons attacks,” Ms. Nauert said.”

4 comments

    • Dear Michael Hulshof-Schmidt,

      I don’t see how even the president can’t be moved by the photos of innocent children and others being victimized by this chemical weapon attack.

      At the very least, the president will have to look like he gives a damn. Frankly this is just the latest atrocity. It is not just the Russians who a party to this debacle but the Turks. The Turks do not want the Kurds to exist. They have been operating against US interests.

      Hugs, Gronda

      Like

  1. Dear 1EarthUnited,

    Thanks for the excellent reference. And I agree with its content. If I were in Russia’s shoes right now, I would be ready to shoot President Bashar al-Assad myself because if he had shown some restraint and decency, instead of acting like a monster, he was guaranteed a favorable outcome.

    Russia needs to figure out an acceptable outcome like Russia retaining the rights on a permanent basis to have full usage of its naval base in Syria while an acceptable replacement to President Assad is agreed upon. President Assad is NOT a reliable partner for any country.

    Hugs, Gronda

    Like

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